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Darfur War - 2015

On 06 June 2015, an unidentified armed group released two African UnionUN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) contractors after 128 days of captivity, the UN reports. Armed elements abducted the contractors on January 29 while traveling to the UNAMID base in Zalingei town, Central Darfur, according to international media. Following the contractors releasefacilitated by the Government of Russia, the GoS, and UNAMIDthe UN called on the GoS to launch a full investigation into the abduction.

Early May fighting between armed members of the Maaliya and Rizeigat ethnic groups in Abu Karinka affected or displaced approximately 24,000 people and destroyed at least 660 houses, according to the HAC. The HAC, which the GoS designated to lead the humanitarian response in Abu Karinka, reports conducting an initial rapid assessment and distributing emergency food commodities and relief suppliesincluding cooking utensils, plastic sheeting, and tentsto affected households in the locality. The HAC also approved joint rapid needs assessments with the UN and other relief actors in early June to further address humanitarian concerns in the locality.

In late May, WFP surveyed the vulnerability levels among North Darfur IDP householdssome of whom have been displaced and dependent on emergency food assistance for up to 11 yearsin Kebkabiya and Kutum localities and Abu Shouk and Al Salam IDP camps. While WFPs surveys in North Darfurs Tawilla Locality remain ongoing, WFP indicated plans to conduct additional surveys in the states Mellit Locality and Shangil Tobaya area in May and June. The surveyswhich collect demographic data as well as information about housing, income sources, livelihoods, and assetsallow WFP to provide assistance based on IDP households level of need rather than displacement status alone. Based on the results of previous surveys in East Darfurs El Neem camp, WFP plans to reach approximately 11,000 IDPs with food-for-work and food-for-training programs in lieu of general food distributions.

In April, UNAMID peacekeepers repelled two attacks by armed actors in South Darfurs Kass Locality, the UN reports. On the evening of April 23, approximately 40 armed militants attacked UNAMID troops protecting a water distribution point in Kass, injuring two peacekeepers and seizing a UN vehicle. The UNAMID troops returned gunfire, killing four militants and injuring one militant. On April 24, attackers opened fire near the UNAMID base in Kass, wounding four peacekeepers. According to the UN, militants have killed 61 peacekeepers in Darfur since UNAMIDs launch in December 2007.

As a result of a favorable March-to-April wheat harvest, USAID/FFP partner WFP expanded its food voucher program in South Darfur, which currently serves Otash IDP camp, to also include Dereige camp. With this expansion, WFPs food voucher program included more than 78,600 participants as of early Mayan increase from approximately 57,300 participants in January. This expansion of emergency food assistance follows a projected increase in food insecurity during Sudans June-to-September lean season, according to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).

In 2015, intercommunal fighting resulted in approximately one third of all conflict-related fatalities and accounted for over 40 percent of the people displaced in Darfur. Key land ownership disputes such as the one between the Berti and the Zayadiya in Malha, Al Kuma and Mellit in North Darfur remained unresolved. After the resumption of fighting between the Berti and the Zayadiya in July 2015, the North Darfur State government facilitated the signing of separate cessation of hostilities agreements between the Berti and the Zayadiya, while additional Sudanese armed forces troops were deployed to the affected areas to stabilize the situation.

Similarly, following attempts by the Sudanese authorities to reconcile the positions of the Maalia and the Southern Rezeigat tribes on their dispute over land ownership in Abu Karinka and Adila, East Darfur, a livestock theft incident in Khor Thaan village, south of Labado, reignited the conflict between them in April 2016. Following that incident, coupled with the attempts by the Governor of East Darfur to impose security in the state and to renegotiate the Marawie agreement, which was proposed in February 2015, the Southern Rezeigat accused the Governor of supporting the Maalia in the dispute. Following an attack on the Governors residence in Ed Daein by Southern Rezeigat militia the next day, additional Sudanese armed forces troops were deployed in the buffer zone between the two communities and to enhance security in the State capital. In the absence of a reconciliation process to address the land and resources issue, tensions between these communities remained high, resulting in several security incidents in late April and early May 2015.

The proliferation of arms, impunity and the inadequacy of rule of law and judicial institutions perpetuated a scenario whereby a single act of cattle rustling easily escalated into a broader and very violent intercommunal conflict. In South Darfur, fighting between the Salamat and Fallata tribes in Al Nadif, in Buram locality, in August 2015, led to 83 fatalities on both sides. Despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the two tribes in September 2015, fighting once again resumed in February 2016, resulting in 35 deaths. Following the latest round of fighting, Sudanese authorities arrested 80 persons suspected of involvement in the clashes. Both parties reiterated their commitment to the September 2015 peace agreement and called for the wide dissemination of the agreements, particularly at the grass-roots level.

Also as a result of cattle rustling, fighting occurred between the Beni Halba and Massalit, and between the Awlad Rahma and Gimir, in areas south and east of El Geneina in West Darfur. In late November and early December 2015, heavily armed militia attacked the Zaghawa-inhabited villages in and surrounding Anka, North Darfur, killing at least seven civilians, burning homes and causing the displacement of approximately 150 families to the camp for internally displaced persons in Um Baru, North Darfur. Conflicts over the use of and access to farmland between farmers and nomadic herders remained prominent throughout Darfur during the farming season, which coincides with the north-south livestock migration from May to November each year.

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Page last modified: 12-10-2016 19:49:04 ZULU